The woman who was instrumental in setting up the Vanuatu Intellectual Property Office (VIPO) under the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Industry and ni-Vanuatu Business Development, has become the first ni-Vanuatu to qualify from a university with a Masters in Intellectual Property Law.

Mrs. Merilyn Leona Temakon, the Assistant Registrar at the VIPO, took leave from work during last year to complete the eight months Master’s program on Intellectual Property Law at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) jointly run with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

She successfully completed eight subjects over two semesters and qualified at the end of the year with the Masters in Intellectual Property Law.

Mrs. Temakon says the eight subjects covered, four in each semester, included: Introduction to the course; Patent – covering new inventions and patent law and registration of new inventions and artificial intelligence and who owns it; new technology, internet technology including Google; trade-related intellectual property rights; medicines and the politics of medicines; trademarks and copyrights, design, geographical indication, plant varieties protection, domain names and internet services providers; and traditional knowledge.

“With the course we were trained to be public speakers and we were required to do presentations for each of the subjects covered,” Merilyn Temakon, from Pentecost said, adding that: “For each of the eight subjects we also had to produce a research paper.”

For her major research paper on the subject of Traditional Knowledge, 6,000 words long, she received a Distinction and also a Distinction for her research paper on the Background subject or Introduction to the course.

“Six of my research papers including my major research paper and the one on the Introduction were on Vanuatu,” Temakon added.

She adds that she is thankful to the Acting Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Industry and ni-Vanuatu Business Development, George Borugu and the Registrar of VIPO, Britten Yosef, for their support in enabling the assistance of the Government of Vanuatu for her to complete the program.

Mrs. Temakon is now back in the country and since her contract with the VIPO ended at the end of the year, she is now looking for a job and is hopeful she can secure another contract with the Government.